This week’s featured video highlights a relatively new technology being studied for weed control in late season crop weed escapes. The Weed Zapper Annihilator uses a front mounted 3-point hitch bar to pass electricity through weeds above the crop canopy, with a generator on the 3-point hitch on the back of the tractor. Like using a wiper, weed electrocution is only effective for weeds that grow taller than the crop canopy. I could see this technology being useful in the Panhandle for weed escapes in peanuts, perennial peanuts, watermelons, and soybeans that are crops with a lower canopy than weeds. The other key use would be in organic production, where late weed escapes can be a greater issue. I don’t see this as the sole answer for weed control, but another tool to use to prevent late season yield loses and to reduce seed production for next season’s crop.
Recently, the University of Missouri published a two-year trial from 2020-21 using the Weed Zapper for late season weed escapes in soybeans. Their study called, The Impact of Electrocution Treatments on Weed Control and Weed Seed Viability in Soybean, authored by Schreier, Bish, and Bradley, was published in the Weed Technology Journal. In the conclusion of their article, the authors stated:
Although most weeds were completely controlled following electrocution, giant foxtail, yellow foxtail, barnyardgrass, and waterhemp had some surviving plants. Overall, results from these experiments indicate that using weed electrocution in an integrated approach can help combat herbicide-resistant weeds and is best fit to serve as a late season rescue treatment that can offer both weed control as well as reduction of viable weed seed return to the soil seedbank. Schreier, Bish, and Bradley
If you enjoyed this video, you might want to check out others from the featured video archives: Friday Feature Archive
If you come across an interesting, inspiring, humorous or something new and innovative related to agriculture, please send in a link, so we can share it with our readers. Use the share button from the YouTube or Facebook video you like and send the link via email to: Doug Mayo